NATO defence ministers on Wednesday in Brussels finalized details on the six small headquarters to be set up in Eastern European countries. They will have 40 members of personnel each. The Lithuanian unit will be headed by a Danish officer.
Jens Stoltenberg
© AFP/Scanpix

"We have agreed on the structure of the six small headquarters being set up in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told journalists in Brussels.

In his words, they will each consist of around 40 people, and will play a key role in planning, exercises, and assisting potential reinforcement.

The headquarters are part of the Readiness Action Plan aimed at deterring threats posed by Russia and terrorist organizations in the south.

Lithuanian military will make up around half of the staff at the Lithuanian headquarters, and the other half will consist of visiting allied officers. It is due to be officially opened in July and be fully operation in September.

According to Stoltenberg, NATO defence ministers also decided on air, maritime, and special forces components of the enhanced NATO Response Force (NRF). The NRF will now consist of up to 40,000 personnel, up from the previous level of 13,000.

Moreover, ministers also agreed to speed up political and military decision-making, including authority for NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe to prepare troops for action as soon as a political decision is made activate Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

The NATO headquarters in Lithuania will be led by a Danish officer, Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas has confirmed.

"Our headquarters should be headed by a Danish officer," he told BNS in Brussels on Wednesday.

The minister said the Lithuanian and Polish headquarters will be the only ones, at least temporarily, staffed 100 percent.

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